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What’s Your Most Memorable Travel Moment?

Share your most memorable moment travelling with Wells Gray Tours and you could win a $300 travel voucher!

Since we’re not able to travel at the moment, why not re-live the excitement of previous trips and enter to win a great prize. Send us a few sentences describing your most memorable moment travelling with us and attach a photo if you have one. All entries will be included in a draw and one lucky winner will win a $300.00 travel voucher! Submit your memory or photo by December 15th, 2020 by email to kerrie@wellsgraytours.com. Make sure to include your name, the tour, destination, and date, as well as the names of people appearing in the photo. There is no limit on the number of entries. Contest winners will be announced in January 2021!

To inspire you, here are some of our staff members’ most memorable travel moments:

A short video clip from the Edinburgh Tattoo on our 2017 Scotland Tour

“A very memorable experience for me was on our 2017 Scotland tour. We attended the Edinburgh Tattoo on the Edinburgh castle grounds in the evening. We had explored the castle in daylight on an earlier day and it was incredible to think that they performed the Tattoo each night twice a night to crowds of up to 6000 or more. The evening we attended the Tattoo, there  was a slight drizzle of rain but it did not deter from the mesmerizing performance or the energy of the audience. I did not see any empty seats in the stands! The announcer for the show was welcoming people from all over the world and expressing happy birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, and weddings before the show began. He welcomed the Wells Gray Tours group from Canada and it gave me goosebumps! Our group let out a collective cheer! The show was amazing and the location for the Tattoo is so historical I will never forget it. I know it was a highlight for many on the tour.”

– Sema, Victoria Office and Operations Manager

 

Kerrie learns to throat sing from a master!

“I had an amazing and humbling experience on the High Arctic Explorer Cruise with Adventure Canada in 2019. One of the experts on board was Martha Flaherty. Martha is an Inuit interpreter, translator, culturalist, and advocate – a truly incredible woman – and we were blessed to have her with us on our journey. Martha and her family lived through one of Canadian history’s most sombre and little-known episodes. In the mid-1950s, lured by false promises of a better life, Inuit families were displaced by the Canadian government and left to survive on their own in the Far North. Growing up traditionally in a family that was closely connected to the land, Martha learned to sew, prepare food, and hunt at an early age. She is also an excellent throat singer which is a unique and enchanting form of musical expression. A mixture of husky chanting and low growling, throat singing is a competition in which the first person to laugh, stop, or run out of breath loses. One afternoon while walking with Martha on the Artic tundra, I has the opportunity to try throat singing with her. I was very nervous as it’s very difficult to do and takes years of practice, but Martha was so encouraging. She makes you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. It was a lot harder than I thought but such a special and wonderful experience!

Martha produced her own film called Martha of the North documenting her relocation experience. It is amazing they were able to survive the relocation, living in 24-hour darkness for six months and minus 67-degree temperatures. An incredible movie that I would highly recommend watching.  https://www.nfb.ca/film/martha_of_the_north/

– Kerrie, Marketing Director

Terri was lucky enough to get up close with Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba

“I think one of my most memorable moments was the first polar bear I saw up close, when I was out on the tundra buggy in Churchill Manitoba! The whole experience was incredible. It was interesting learning about the people who are living there and have never left, as well as the people who come to work there for the polar bear viewing season (and beluga whale season too). It was incredible to see how passionate people are about keeping these amazing animals alive and preserving their natural habitat. The history behind the town of Churchill was fascinating. I also couldn’t believe that I was the only Canadian in my group! I was able to share the experience with people who had travelled from Italy, Germany, England, the U.S., Australia, and Austria.”

– Terri, Kelowna Office Manager

 

A visit to a local elementary school in Tanzania was a special moment for Tour Director, Jill

“I was so fortunate to be the Tour Director leading one of our two tours to Tanzania in 2019. It was the most amazing time with a wonderful group of travellers. Our animal experiences within Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, the Ngorongoro  Crater, Serengeti National Park, and the Chobe National Park in Botswana were beyond everyone’s wildest hopes and dreams. Each day was amazing! During the tour we visited a Tanzanian elementary school (as well as an orphanage and hospital). We brought school supplies and soccer balls along from Canada. I don’t think any of us were prepared for the moving experience we were to have. The young students were so pleased to see us. They took our hands, showed us around and were so grateful for our gifts. Their teachers helped them to ask us questions about life in Canada and they sang to us. So, heartwarming! I know several of our group have stayed in touch with the school.”

– Jill, Tour Director

 

A trip to Machu Picchu in 2014 was a life-changing moment for Lisa

“My first trip to Machu Picchu in 2014 was a life changing moment for me personally and professionally. I will always remember the feeling of exhaustion and exileration after our day at the site. We had a perfect day and our excellent guide really was able to get across how important this place was. At lunch the whole group knew we had shared something very special that could not be repeated.”

– Lisa, Tour Director

 

A family history trip in Alberta reminded Shelley that trips close to home are just as special as international destinations. This photo shows her grandparents’ home as she remembers it.

“One of my favourite travel memories is not from an international tour, or a cruise, or a tropical getaway. It was a true family experience. We called it our Family History Trip and it was almost exactly two years ago. It consisted of my uncle, my four cousins and I, my six nieces and nephews, and four spouses. My uncle is a well known archivist and historian, particularly in Alberta’s N.W. Peace River Country who has written several books, and has received the Alberta Order of Excellence. He was our Tour Guide. We visited lakes, churches, cemeteries, rivers, old train stations, grain elevators, old homes my grandparents once lived in, trading posts, homesteads, bridges, and land once owned long ago. We reminisced, we laughed, and we cried. It reminds me that we don’t have to travel far and wide to have the best experiences. Staying closer to home is also very special.”

– Shelley, Penticton Office Manager

 

One stop on Fraser’s fascinating visit to Sarajevo was the abandoned bobsled and luge track from the 1984 Olympic Winter Games

“A side trip from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo a year ago was probably the coolest three travel days of my life. Sarajevo itself stole our hearts with it’s fascinating history full of tough dissension and beautiful diversity, and we had an incredible guide to take us through it all in a morning walking tour of the downtown core. He brought the city to life for us, contrasting prosperous life as a Yugoslav under Tito (widely considered a hero in Bosnia) and the exceptionally difficult times during the Siege of Sarajevo which ended only 24 years ago. After our walking tour, we took the cable car up the mountain and found the Olympic Bobsled & Luge Track which has now been abandoned and coloured with graffiti in a surprisingly appealing way. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. I had to find the corner where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot by Gavrilo Princip, which is considered by many to have ‘launched’ World War 1. As I stood on the Latin Bridge assessing the infamous intersection while local cars flew by in their typical fashion, I could feel the power of history emanating from this place. Of course, I needed to find both a local beer and a food delicacy. Low and behold, Sarajevska beer was drank and Ćevapi was eaten!”

– Fraser, Director of Product Development

 

“Celebrating the night away in Cuba at the infamous Beatles Rock and Roll Bar is a favourite memory for me. It was our 35th Anniversary for my husband Edward and I, and we were out on the town being driven in style in a classic convertible from the 50s.  Along to share the memories was our youngest son Evan and his beautiful wife Miriam.  We had a chance to step back into time, into a bygone era frozen in time and space.  It was a memory we all cherish. We loved Cuba, the people, and the warm sunshine.”

– Darlene, Vernon Office Manager

 

Who needs a motorcoach when you can ride in style? Lynne and her fellow travellers got an upgrade in Wine Country!

“One of my memorable moments was on a San Francisco Cruise and Oregon Coast tour. Our motorcoach broke down when we were in Sonoma Wine Country. We needed to get from the hotel in Rohnert Park, California to the Napa Valley Train (about 60 km away). The coach company didn’t have any motorcoaches available, so they sent two limos instead. One was the sweet ride in the photo!”

– Lynne, Vernon Sales & Office Assistant

 

Pam and Kerrie make the leap into arctic waters on Adventure Canada’s High Arctic Explorer in 2019

“One of my most memorable travel moments was doing a polar dip in the frigid waters of Baffin Bay just off the coast of Greenland, on the High Arctic Explorer Cruise with Adventure Canada. I was pretty nervous about the coldest swim of my life, but I had my co-worker, Kerrie, by my side to brave the jump. It was surprisingly refreshing and felt amazing…So good in fact, that we went in again! We were rewarded with a shot of vodka and enjoyed a warm soak in the hot tub with our fellow polar dippers. That evening we cruised by hundreds of icebergs that were lit up in spectacular blues, purples, pinks, and oranges by the midnight summer sunset.”

– Pam, Marketing Assistant

 

“One little unexpected gem for me came during a paddlewheeler river cruise from Memphis to New Orleans. I ended up dining and chatting with Barbara Barnes Sims, who worked in promotions and publicity at Sun Records during some of its golden years (1957-1960). Barbara came onto the scene just a couple of years after Elvis had gone to RCA. She told stories of working with Johnny Cash and boating with Jerry-Lee Lewis. She even wrote liner notes for their first albums. I bought her book: The next Elvis, Searching for Stardom at Sun Records which she cordially signed ‘rocking good wishes’.”

– Paige, Reservations Manager

 

“My most memorable travel experience was a few years ago. My parents, my siblings, my nieces, my daughters, and I traveled to Germany for my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary.  During this trip we visited Frankfurt, Rothenburg, Koln, and Berlin. Most of our time was spent near my hometown of Oldenburg. My girls and I walked the same streets as I did as a child. I reminisced, and they appreciated the stories. We gathered with friends and family, many of whom I hadn’t seen for much of my adult life and my daughters had never met. Together we experienced traditions and culture that I grew up with and made memories that will last a lifetime. An experience so memorable we talk about it almost daily.”

– Birgy, Kelowna Sales & Office Assistant

 

“I have been so fortunate to have so many amazing travel experiences. One of my favourites was swimming with the sea turtles in Galapagos. While out snorkelling, our captain literally grabbed my friend’s arm and towed her to a caldera. We had to crawl through a small channel which opened up to a volcanic caldera filled with at least 50 sea turtles, ranging in size from small to huge. We floated on top while the turtles swam around us. We spent about 45 minutes admiring those beautiful creatures. What an amazing experience!”

– Pat, Tour Director

 

“My most memorable moment on a Wells Gray Tour was aboard the Oosterdam for a cruise through the Mexican Riviera including Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Mazatlán. It was my first time on a cruise and I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing lifestyle on board, especially “at sea” days. I loved the endless supply of food, having a perfect reading spot around every corner, and fun entertainment each evening. I spent majority of my time by the pool eating tacos and stretching out on the lounge chairs. The cruise was an experience in itself and truly a unique way to travel while providing a good mixture of adventure and leisure with effortless and enjoyable transportation.”

– Alyssa, Customer Experience Specialist

“One memorable moment for me was on the Antarctica Cruise when we were scenic cruising. Seeing all the different shapes of icebergs, the seals sunbathing on them, and the penguins jumping off and onto them was breathtaking!”

– Marion, Tour Director